The Competition Bureau has stated that businesses and influencers must be transparent when advertising on social media.
Influencers must also be honest in their reviews and base them on actual experiences, the bureau says.
The government agency sent letters to nearly one hundred brands and agencies in Canada advising them to review their marketing practices to ensure that they align with the law.
Influencers will now have to clearly disclose the relationship that they have with the service or business that they are promoting. The Competition Bureau explained that there is a relationship present if the influencer gets money, free products, free trips or has a personal connection with the brand, among other factors.
“When navigating the digital marketplace, consumers often rely on the opinions shared by influencers. To make informed purchasing decisions, consumers must know if these opinions are independent or an advertisement,” said Matthew Boswell, commissioner of competition, in a press release.
It also states that businesses may be liable for false or misleading content when influencers post ads on social media.
Source: Competition Bureau